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tv   Nightline  ABC  August 1, 2013 12:35am-1:06am PDT

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kneeling my god is the sun ♪ ♪ ooh ♪ healing like fire from above kneeling my god is the sun ♪ ♪ healing kneeling godless heathens ♪
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[ cheers and applause ] >> their album is out. >> jimmy: i want to thank johnny knoxville, logan lerman. apologies to matt damon. we ran out of time. tomorrow night, selena gomez, ben stein and music from palma violets. thank you for watching. "nightline" is next. stay up, good night.
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tonight, on "nightline." the last stand, only 72 hours left and the clock is ticking. it is mississippi's only abortion clinic. tensions are high between the people inside trying to save it. and the protesters outside trying to shut it down. >> there are babies being killed inside of this pink building. >> on the line, a christian doctor with a controversial answer to the question, how many abortions will he do on any one woman? >> how many abortions? as many as necessary. >> we're there as the decision comes in, the battle rages on. and they both think god is on
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their side. with the clinic on life support, which side wins? >> this special edition of "nightline," the last stan
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this is a special edition of "nightline." the last stand, whose side is god on? >> good evening, i'm cynthia mcfadden. thank you for joining us, tonight we look at one of the most controversial subjects, abortion. the lines are being drawn in missouri and of course, texas, but sometimes as minds close and the lines harden, we lose sight of the people involved. tonight, we travel to the last abortion clinic in mississippi. which, as we arrive, has only 72 hours left before it appears the state will shut it down forever.
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>> your baby wants to live! >> stop the shedding of innocent blood. >> reporter: every day, people show up at the last abortion clinic in mississippi. >> there are babies being killed inside of this pink building. >> reporter: certain that what takes place inside is morally wrong. >> there is never a good reason for a baby to die. >> reporter: the protesters believe god stands with them, and they are determined to be heard. >> we have to plead with the killers to stop. >> reporter: but just on the other side of the fence, the clinic's staff is equally determined to drown them out. >> i ask make more noise than they can. >> reporter: it is a defiant last stand, here at the only clinic where a woman can get a legal abortion in the 48,000 square miles of mississippi. just about everybody believes the state judge will shut down the clinic in the next 72 hours.
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but you won't find any apologies here from the people who run the clinic. this bubble gum pink building stands loud and proud, at least for now. >> women's health, may i help you, please. >> reporter: inside the clinic, the mood today is dark. >> you can imagine our anxiety level here at the clinic. >> reporter: betty thomas is the clinic manager. >> we know you will be safe coming to us this week, because the hearing is not until thursday. >> reporter: the clinic is in violation of a state law that requires their doctors to have admitting privileges at a local hospital. just the latest in the ever-growing list, designed by the state to force the clinic to close. with the clock winding down, protesters like this person believe that they are on the verge of making history. >> let's help mississippi lead the nation, in becoming the first state to protect every baby, to protect every mom, that is what we're going for.
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>> reporter: that is the clinic owner. it was her idea to paint the clinic pink as a message. she is not quitting without a fight. >> stop taking blood money. >> reporter: but behind the bravado, she knows the odds are stacked against her. is your clinic in mississippi going to survive? >> i hope so. we're going to be screaming, one way or the other. >> reporter: you're going to fight? >> we have to. there is no alternative. >> reporter: when did you get this car? >> they're so ugly, they're cute. >> reporter: she invites me to ride with her to the clinic. like the protesters, she believes god is on her side. >> iñi know as fervently as the do, that what i'm doing is right. but if i'm wrong, that is between the lord and i. >> reporter: and many are marching in protest. like we're going to have lunch.
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i'm not sure what we're going to discuss. when you think of a fertilized egg, there is nowhere to go with that. >> reporter: diane knows how dangerous working in a clinic can be. 15 years ago, her clinic was bombed and a nurse was maimed. it is not a joke that you carry a taser, or mace, it is not a joke that you have a gun? >> no, it is not. a long time ago i made peace that it is a possibility that you die. but i couldn't imagine there is a better cause to die for. >> reporter: but finding doctors willing to put their lives on the line is another story. the situation is so volatile that she cannot find a single doctor in the state of mississippi willing to work at her clinic. >> going to check in for my flight, make sure, i can get a seat. >> reporter: she called dr. willy parker, a doctor from chicago. he was reluctant at first.
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>> going to alabama, knowing how aggressive people can be when they feel strongly about something. i said there is no way i'm going south. >> reporter: but after a visit, spite of his own evangelical faith, dr. parker felt the women of mississippi needed him. >> i had no desire to abandon my christian faith or understandings, but i found myself overwhelmed by the compassion i found for my patients. >> reporter: so twice a month, parker braved the journey and the jeers. >> people have said some very obnoxious things, calling me the negro abortionist, killing my race, so that doesn't bother me, i got used to it. >> reporter: the last thing to shrug off is the violence, clinic workers point this out. they once signed a petition to urge the jurors to sign that it
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was killing. >> doctors have been killed. >> this is true, frightened, sometimes, yes, paralyzed by fear? no. escorted by security, enters the clinic through a back door. >> i got to get to my people. >> reporter: inside, the greetings are warm. but he has no illusions, this might well be his last trip here. >> this may be the last hugs. >> well, good to see you. >> reporter: but there is little time for reflection. there is work to be done. >> if you all have that courage to come to make the tough decision to have an abortion, come past all the people who want the criticize and judge you, i wanted to be sure there was somebody to meet you. >> reporter: in the next two days he will perform 30 abortions. >> we can safely and easily remove the pregnancy. >> reporter: and counsel more than 50 women. is birth control part of the service that you provide here?
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>> it is. >> reporter: so your goal is to not see someone more than once? >> my goal is to see a woman as often as i need to, to make sure a pregnancy is a planned pregnancy, to make sure the child is a wanted child. so i say as many as abortion is necessary. >> reporter: that will ruffle a lot of feathers. >> i know, but when a woman chooses to have an abortion, there needs to be a safe place to have one. >> reporter: but that is looking less and less likely. many believe on the edge of triumph. >> some day our grandchildren are going to ask us, what was it like? i can't believe they used to dehumanize and murdering babies in america. >> i want you to quit killing babies. >> i have the love of jesus. >> no, you don't, you have the murder of unborn children. >> reporter: he was here almost every day, two of his four
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children, 19-year-old corey? and 17-year-old david come with him. >> he spends more time out here than i do. >> reporter: many of the people on opposite sides of this fence have known each other for years. locked in a very public battle over the very most private of decisions. laurie is one of the clinic escorts. >> never stops, they're here, we're here. >> reporter: tanya is here to beg women to reconsider why they have come. >> actually, she is never here, she is only here because i'm here. tanya likes the camera. she is kind of a camera-whore, you don't intimidate me. >> i'm not trying to. >> really, tanya? >> reporter: meanwhile, back inside, dr. parker spent time behind the closed doors, doing what he, too, believes is god's work. at the clinic, he braces for bad news. >> they always say it is darkest right before the dawn.
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well, i hope we're on the dawn of this clinic prevailing. >> reporter: coming up, a stunning turn of events that has the clinic staff in the mood to celebrate. >> i'm under arrest? >> you are. >> reporter: and the protesters up in arms. >> don't tell me in front of people. tell me in front of people. and we have home insurance. but if we made a claim, our rate would go up... [ whispering ] shhh. you did it right. you have allstate claim rate guard so your rates won't go up just because of a claim. [ whispering ] are we still in a dream? no, you're in an allstate commercial. so get allstate home insurance with claim rate guard... [ whispering ] goodnight. there are so many people in our bedroom. [ dennis ] talk to an allstate agent... [ doorbell rings ] ...and let the good life in. because apparently i'm raising some sort of junior stylist and it's the only place i can get the brands she needs, like total girl, and it's totally affordable. [ female announcer ] this weekend, get $10 off when you spend $25. style. quality. price. now at jcpenney. style. quality. price. fby eating healthier,
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>> reporter: when we went to mississippi in the spring, the last abortion clinic in the state looked as if it was about to be shut down for good. we witnessed tensions flare, as those that wanted it closed and
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those that wanted it opened claimed god was on their side. it looked as if the last clinic in mississippi was about to close when we visited. a state judge was ready to shut it down. but hours ago, overnight an injunction from a federal judge keeps it open. at least for now. >> and i got the news last night. i was like yes. we're going to put the patients first. and then we're going to celebrate. that would be my guess. may i help you, please? >> please help. >> reporter: but at the other side of this fence? >> friends and neighbors, stop the violence. >> reporter: the dismay of protesters is erupted. >> they will cut their arms and legs off? >> reporter: he is joined by others. >> it is a setback for babies being killed in this place,
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every single day that we delay. >> reporter: gallagher was a former police officer who was fired for refusing to arrest anti-abortion protesters 20 years ago. he has been protesting full-time ever since. sometimes even when there seems to be no one there to listen. >> we're here to tell you the truth, and that there is help available. >> reporter: with tensions running high today, police move in and arrest gallagher for disorderly conduct. >> shame on you. tell me where i can stand! come on, commander. >> reporter: two hours later, he is bag on the megaphone, without his shoe laces, and following these women. >> these women don't feel love. >> reporter: we met this woman, who we'll call marie, as she leaves the clinic. >> i seen the pictures, i did the research, we're not stupid, i am almost 30 years old.
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i'm not dumb. >> reporter: marie said she was religious herself and understood why the protesters came, but she felt harassed and judged by them, as did many of the women who came. >> she doesn't dispute the christian's love, but it didn't feel loving. do you understand why people would feel that way? >> i understand how people would feel that would cut the head off of their babies. >> reporter: i mean, the words you are using are not loving. >> little boys and girls are taken into that room, and they use a suction. >> reporter: over the decades, the opinions have become solid, as well as the stereotypes. we found it was more complicated on both sides. while their hard core approach was what we're used to seeing? barbara bebers has a different tone and plays a different role in the anti-abortion situation.
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she runs a crisis pregnancy center, providing support for women who opt to have their babies. >> we have baby food, clothes. >> reporter: she says she worries about the young women. >> so many of them say, because of what is legal i thought it was right. we have sanitized abortion. we can't go back to the coat hanger days, so we don't call them coat hangers anymore. that does the same thing to the baby that the coat hanger did. >> reporter: but it doesn't kill the mother. >> it doesn't kill the mother. but it still kills the baby. >> this is my friend. >> reporter: over the years, beebers has brought some of the young pregnant women home. we joined her today as her grandchildren played on the
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lawn. but she understands that so many women seeking abortions don't have this kind of support. >> they need their vision lifted. they think all there is right now is this moment. and i have to deal with it right now. >> i spent some time with barbara. she said that women will always regret them in some part of themselves. >> my response is one out of 30 women in america has had them. is she saying all of these women are crazy out there? that is what these people want to have happen to women. because not only do they scream at women when they come into the building, but when they come out, how does it feel to have killed your baby? that is a bad person, that is not christian. >> reporter: you know, i talked to her, she talked about the name calling, she says that is just hateful. that is evil. you agree with it? >> oh, i agree with that. i can't believe they do that. i am very saddened. i'm trying to deal with that kind of stuff. that is terrible.
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>> we don't verbally assault anyone. i just say to a mom coming out from an abortion, i say ma'am, can you talk and pray for a minute, what soap and water can't wash out of your heart, the blood of jesus can. >> reporter: there are deeply personal and emotional arguments. >> think about it. if somebody threw the 2-year-old off the bridge, and the mom is defended, and somebody else said wait, stop? >> reporter: he says he will never stop fighting, and neither will dr. parker. >> there is a ray of sunshine on a cloudy day. and it is still cloudy. until there are definitive, legal decisions we have to realize this is just one signma step forward and a battle ahead. >> reporter: and so each side continues, until there is no room for compromise, no room for talk. the lines are drawn.
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for now, the clinic stays open. >> since the federal court intervened in april, the clinic has continued to operate although its future remains uncertain. needless to say, abortion remains a deeply controversial and emotional issue which has ripped families and communities apart. we invite you to go to our website at to share your thoughts. you're not made of money, so don't overpay for boat insurance. geico, see how much you could save. apply cold therapy in the first 24 hours. but not just any cold. i only use new thermacare® cold wraps.
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style. quality. price. mitch mcconn . a political candidate who just won't quit, and you will never guess who got pulled over in texas. in tonight's feed frenzy. gone fishing. in his latest campaign video, anthony weiner says he is still running for mayor, because quitting is an oh, so wrong way to do. but does his wife feel the same way? huma abedin has been juggling her own high-powered career and backing up her husbands. but she now has taken a job with


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